Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake Travel Blog

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Wizard Island at Crater Lake

On the way from Salem to Crater Lake, we thought it would be nice to get off the highway and take a lesser known, more scenic route.  Boy, what a mistake!   We made a wrong turn somewhere, and wound up driving through the mountains for hours on dirt and gravel roads. I was cursing my Garmin Streetpilot Navigation System, which had inexplicably stopped working in Washington...we sure could have used it here! We backtracked several times in an effort to get back on a known state road.  By the time we found one, we were closer to Crater Lake, but several hours behind schedule.  We finally got there late afternoon, and what a site it is!  A beautiful clear, blue lake, over 1,900 feet deep in parts.

Chipmunk begging for peanuts
   Crater Lake was formed when Mt Mazama erupted thousands of years ago, and as the magma emptied out of the volcano, it colapsed into itself and formed a huge bowl-like caldera.  Since there are no rivers or streams entering or exiting the lake, it keeps its pure, clear blue form.  Over the years the caldera has filled with rainwater and snow melt, and today it is pretty much in equilibrium.  It fills with rain & snow as fast as it evaporates, so the lake depth and volume stays fairly consistant. 

When we first arrived, we were greeted by several chipmunks, and they delighted in us feeding them trail mix (we later learned this was a no-no!)   They were tame enough to pet while they took peanuts out of your hand.  We then went to check out the visitor center before it closed.

Sunset at Crater Lake
  We arrived too late to take the boat ride to Wizard's Island, so we just drove around the rim of the lake, stopping for pictures at all the viewpoints.   We looked for, but did not see, "The Old Man Of The Lake", an ancient, petrified hollow log that has been seen floating around the lake since 1929.  (I saw it last time I was here, but not today!)  We also walked around the Crater Lake Lodge. Saw several spots where there was still snow on the ground. In mid August???  It wasn't cold at all, but there were several patches of snow in various places! 

Several years ago, a helicopter crashed and sank in the lake.  It has never been recovered, because it is just too deep.   The two men killed in the accident are still presumeably entombed there at the bottom of the lake.  The families have never pushed for recovery of the bodies, as they figure Crater Lake is as good a place as any to spend eternity!

 Took some pictures of the "Phantom Ship" formation, which is a small rock island at one end of the lake, so named because it looks like a ship in the mist when a low fog is rolling over the water.  Was able to fill up the gas tank in the park as well...good thing, we used up most of our gas lost in the mountains earlier in the day! 

jostravel says:
It is almost worth getting lost when you end up with views like that!
Posted on: Apr 17, 2016
WaltJake says:
Despite the snow, it was very warm there!
Posted on: Apr 04, 2007
WaltJake says:
Crater Lake Lodge is right on the lake rim, near the visitor center. http://www.craterlakelodges.com/Crater-Lake-Lodge-1842.html
Posted on: Apr 04, 2007
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Wizard Island at Crater Lake
Wizard Island at Crater Lake
Chipmunk begging for peanuts
Chipmunk begging for peanuts
Sunset at Crater Lake
Sunset at Crater Lake
Many great viewpoints, all around …
Many great viewpoints, all around…
Cool blue water
Cool blue water
Visitor center parking lot
Visitor center parking lot
We got there too late for the boat…
We got there too late for the boa…
no rivers in or out makes the wate…
no rivers in or out makes the wat…
Snow? In August?
Snow? In August?
Wizards Island
Wizard's Island
Phantom Ship
Phantom Ship
Amazing Blue
Amazing Blue
A helicopter with 2 people in it c…
A helicopter with 2 people in it …
At the lodge overlook
At the lodge overlook
Me & Tyler
Me & Tyler
There was a forest fire while we w…
There was a forest fire while we …
because the fire started naturally…
because the fire started naturall…
sun setting at the overlook
sun setting at the overlook
the north rim of the crater
the north rim of the crater
shiney and blue!
shiney and blue!
Sign depicting the Old Man of the…
Sign depicting the "Old Man of th…
Tyler and Dawn at a viewpoint
Tyler and Dawn at a viewpoint
Phantom ship through the trees
Phantom ship through the trees
Crater Lake
photo by: WaltJake